Parents fume at teacher calls for ‘online snow day’ with Zoom lessons scrapped

Parents are fuming after some schools called off online lessons due to a "snow day" – despite everyone working from home.

Some headteachers used Storm Darcy as an excuse not to run Zoom classes, leaving thousands of key workers facing a second day of chaos with schools warning it could last all week.

Parents, who are already struggling to juggle homeschooling with their own jobs due to the coronavirus lockdown, were furious that lessons were cancelled as one headteacher said she "doesn't care" about their reaction.

The Department of Health said it was down to individual headteachers to make a "sensible decision".

One declared a "snow day" for her online students at Eastcote Primary Academy, Bexley, south-east London.

She tweeted: "Looking forward to a snow day. Online learning tasks include making a snowman and having a snowball fight."

The educator responded to another tweet saying: "The remote learning tasks will be: make a snowman, go sledging, have a snowball fight and show me a pic of a snow angel. I'm sure one parent will complain, I just don't care."

The school is run by the Leigh Academy Trust. They said in a statement: "The school was open yesterday (Monday) to the children of key workers and vulnerable children and those children not in attendance were undertaking remote learning from home as normal.

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"Whilst we would never stop children playing in the snow at home we would not encourage it as an alternative to taking part in online learning."

The trust added that the account was not linked to her work and appeared to have since been taken down.

Some were furious that some schools cancelled online classes.

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One wrote: "Just read that some teachers have decided that because of the snow in some parts of the country, lessons via Zoom have been cancelled, giving the students a Snow Day.

"Find out who these teachers are, and dock their pay. It's disgusting."

Storm Darcy has wreaked havoc on the country, with another 10 inches of snow and temperatures dipping to -10C predicted for Tuesday.

It has caused huge travel disruption and traffic chaos.

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Hundreds of schools that are still open for key workers have been forced to shut, with some parents forced to stay home from work as their children cannot got to school amid fears towns could become "cut off".

Under current lockdown rules, key worker parents cannot have grandparents or friends watch their children while they go to work.

Sue Blyth, a headteacher at Fourfields School Community School in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, appeared to hit out at parents who complained about her school's decision.

She said: "We also did this and then had some parents complain they hadn't got time to let their children play in the snow because of their full time work!

"There was a proper Facebook moan about it! 'Fortunately most families were grateful."

In Norfolk, one of the worst affected areas, 373 of the county's 422 schools were closed on Tuesday morning, with the numbers still rising.

It is a similar situation in Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Essex and Kent which have also been badly hit by Storm Darcy.

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